Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: ‘Late Show’ Host Stephen Colbert”

I admire various regular commenters here for different qualities: eloquence, perspective, courage, perseverance, integrity, loyalty, humor. Steve-O-in NJ is a one of the commenters I admire for his honesty, and willingness to subject his own conduct, past and present, to uncompromising analysis and objective criticism. This is one of the most difficult, and most useful, skills in improving our life competency of being positive participants in society’s ethical evolution. It also requires no small amount of humility and courage.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on today’s post, Unethical Quote Of The Month: “Late Show” Host Stephen Colbert:

This isn’t a monologue. This isn’t analysis. This isn’t humor. It’s a rant, plain and simple, a bunch of angry thoughts and insults strung together and delivered harshly. I’m a seasoned ranter, to the point where judges, colleagues, and my family have told me I would do better if I dropped out the 20% of what I write that’s trash talking. I usually use it as spice, but let’s not kid ourselves, it’s pandering to my like-minded friends who will think it’s funny if I refer to Hillary’s appearance or Bernie’s age or whatever.

I have done a lot worse in the past, the lowest point being my storming up the stairs to my office (before I was in public service) angry after a dispute over a parking space with an Indian guy. I got about a minute and a half into a rant about “these fucking dotheads, who the hell invited them over here? They don’t wash, they don’t know how to drive, they stink of curry and onions, they can’t speak the language, they take jobs away from people who were born here, someone needs to call dotbusters on them…” before a horrified colleague yelled “Steven! Listen to what you’re saying!”

If you’re shocked reading this, I don’t blame you. It was pure, unadulterated hate of the vilest kind, spewed mostly because I was angry, 26 years old, and just starting in the world, but it was really what I was thinking at the time, and just kept under wraps when I was under control. I didn’t help it by making up and telling hate-based jokes with the other lawyers in my office, some of whom, dyed-in-the-wool Democrats though they were, were also racist pigs who saw non-whites only as vehicles to get yet another 1/3 fee on a settlement. Interestingly, the top attorney in the office, who shall remain nameless, both defended Bill Clinton against the Lewinsky allegations while still sharing jokes like “swallow the leader,” and later, after I had left, freaked out about the litigation and the decision that ultimately made GWB the 43rd president.

The fact is that neither the right nor the left is immune to being poisoned by closed-mindedness and hatred. At this point it’s gone much farther on the left, to the point where the left can’t see anything different from it’s view of things as not only wrong, but evil and worthy of only hatred and contempt. If something is worthy only of hatred and contempt, it’s a logical next step to simply spew hatred and contempt and think that hatred and contempt are wit and humor, simply because they are directed against the right targets.

9 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: ‘Late Show’ Host Stephen Colbert”

  1. The fact that Jack posted this COD within two hours of his original post and within one hour of the comment’s time tag is evidence enough of its COD-worthiness. I am so glad that so many well-spoken attorneys comment here.

  2. Thanks. Something else I’d like to build on, maybe in another post if Jack makes one that is an appropriate one to tack it onto, but referenced a little bit above, is the danger of feeding oneself a steady diet of only one kind of thinking, which the left is especially guilty of these days, hence the current flourishing of the five or so shows that Jack named in the earlier post, which may give like-minded people laughs and claps, but also reinforce prejudice and encourage it to take the next step to hate. Feed yourself a constant diet of porn, and eventually you will honestly believe that all the pussy you want is waiting for you out there, all you need to do is reach out and take it. Keep hitting bags, sparring, and taking MMA classes, and eventually kicking ass will be your default setting. Keep hating one group, or several groups, and eventually you won’t be able to NOT hate them.

  3. On an early “Law and Order”* I was watching last night, in a heated negotiation a defense attorney asked ADA Ben Stone, “How do you sleep at night?” To which Ben calmly replied, “I’m Catholic. I can feel guilt about any number of things.” Takes one to know one, I guess.

    Self-deprecation is a good, Irish quality to have, Steve. As you know.
    *The earlier shows are really good. By comparison to the later shows they reveal the character of Jack McCoy as the grandstanding blow-hard he became.

    • I am Catholic, and half Irish, so I get it. At times I take way too much pride in my ability to take someone down, and at times I look in the mirror and ask myself just what I think I’m playing at.

      The early seasons of Law and Order are actually pretty good, before things get too formulaic and increasingly reliant on surprises and outrageous behavior. The first-season epi “The Troubles” comes close to being a mini-movie, and the two-parter “The Torrents of Greed” is far better than a later three-parter set on both coasts that almost sees Jack McCoy jailed when he tells off an obviously biased and unethical Los Angeles judge.

      • I’m half Irish. Which is evidently plenty. In high school and first part of college I was famed for being able to “cut people down” with my acerbic wit. I was just insecure and a little pissed off. I guess I just sort of grew out of it. My college room mate who graduated from Chaminade HS on Long Island said a teacher there opined in passing that “Catholic kids tended to be cynical because they had a lot more to be cynical about.” I think part of it has to do with some of us being too idealistic at a young age. And we always have Eames’s “Irish Alzheimer’s” from “Criminal Intent” to look forward to. We’ll forget everything but the grudges.

        • I first heard that line about forgetting everything but the grudges in Mrs. Doubtfire, actually. It could just as easily be a lot of other ethnicities, notably my other half, Italian, which (more specifically Sicilian) is where the proverb “revenge is a dish best served cold” later made mainstream in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, originated. Another Italian proverb we’d all do well to remember whenever we get arrogant, translates as “at the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”

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